Luc Alphand maintained his grip on the overall lead today, still 22 minutes up on second place Giniel de Villiers, setting up a sprint finish in the last two stages heading into Dakar.

Sadly, the rally was again marred by tragedy when a child was struck and killed when he dashed out into the road in front of one of the rally cars.

Stage 13 marked the conclusion of the so-called "marathon stage," which covered two days and 1,439 km, with the only service backup provided by the team race trucks and the race crews themselves. Although the Volkswagen team saw its drivers finish second, third  and fourth for the day, it was the Mitsubishi of Luc Alphand who won the dusty, difficult stage, taking full advantage of his first place starting position.

The overall standings are unchanged from yesterday, with Alphand first, de Villiers second, and Mitsubishi's Nani Roma in third.

Today's photo shows de Villiers negotiating a water crossing in yesterday's stage.

[Sources: Volkswagen Motorsport, Mitsubishi Motorsport, dakar.com]

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